Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pearl Harbor

I know I did this last year, and I try not to replicate too much, but this was such a tremendous event in the lives of our parents, that it became a huge part of my own upbringing. The stories of the war, and the blackouts, are something I think about every day. Actually, the first thing I thought about after the attacks of 9/11 was, "Why aren't we going on rations?"

The Second World War grew out of an Isolationist policy on the part of the United States after World War One, as well as the inequities in the Treaty of Versailles. And every year I keep wondering when we will ever begin to learn from our past? When will we ever stop repeating the mistakes of both Isolationism and Appeasement? I have no answers...

Anyway, here's a photo of the USS Shaw, DD-373, during the attack on Pearl Harbor, just after the first wave. Remember as you look at this photo that there are people trapped inside the ship and dying. The ship was repaired early in 1942 and served at sea for the remainder of the war. It's one of a larger, remarkable set of photos that were e-mailed to me a couple of years ago from a shipmate on the USS Milwaukee Googlegroup, of which I am a proud member. If you'd like a set of these photos, just e-mail me and I will zap them right over. There's about 12 in all. Many are quite similar to the ones circulating today on the Internet, although from slightly different angles. They appear to have been taken with a Speed Graphic camera, the preferred tool of news photographers at the time.

To the few who served that day and are still with us - thank you. And to the many who are gone - you are never forgotten.

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